In three days, on Christmas Day, Lebron will return to Miami and American Airlines Arena for this first time since announcing this summer that he was returning home to play with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Heat made the finals each of the four years Lebron was with them, winning two championships.
As Lebron’s return looms, there are two key things we want to know.
1. How has Lebron leaving the Heat affected his relationship with Dwyane Wade?
2. What should Heat fans’ attitude be towards Lebron?
In a new report by ESPN, Dwyane Wade opened up and provided answers to the above questions.
On his relationship with Lebron:
“At the end of the day, this is a sport. And I would personally never let a sport come between the relationships I develop. That’s just not the person I am. So LeBron’s decision to go home didn’t affect our relationship at [any] point. We might even talk more now than we did the first time when he wasn’t my teammate. It’s just because we’re used to leaning on each other a little bit.”
Lebron James added,
“Our relationship is so strong, man, that when I decided to make my decision to come back here, [Wade] was one of my biggest supporters,” James said. “Obviously, he wanted me to stay and he was a big reason why I was teetering back and forth, because it’s bigger than basketball with me and him. It’s like a friendship I can’t explain. It’s like a brother that I never had.”
In other words, Wade and James’ relationship have not been negatively affected by James’ returning to Cleveland. Rather, in many ways, it has only become stronger.
On what the attitude of Heat fans should be:
“It’s going to be a mixture. How I think he should be received is a little bit different. The man helped take us to places we’ve only been once before he got here. So I think he should be received very well for that at the start of the game. And then, when the game [starts], then do what you’ve got to do.”
The Heat plan to show a video tribute before the game showcasing James’ highlights as a four-year member of the Heat.
The type of attitude Wade forecasts mirrors how Lakers fans responded to the return of Shaquille O’neal. Respect and applause before the game, and heavy, non-stop booing once the game starts.
Click here for the full story from ESPN’s Michael Wallace.